Archives for category: 2013

IMG_9479…and so, another year draws to a close. It’s been a fun one, and we thank all of you for your part in it, whether you came to one of our events and participated or just read about them on here (or on Twitter, or on Facebook, or in the Village Voice, or…). We’re looking forward to another season of fun when the next solstice looms.

In the meantime, with some time to kill over the holidays, we looked over the blog stats and noted down which of the photos we posted this year were the most popular, and thought we’d share them with you as a special year-end present, no unwrapping required. ūüôā

Stay warm…


AS-8585What to do when it’s 40 degrees outside? Meet indoors, with the heat turned up high, plenty of wine (including, as a tip of the hat to E.A. Poe, a cask of Amontillado), sublime pastries by the inventor of the cronut, and books, books, books.


A few weeks back, one of our fans tipped us off about a new bookstore in Brooklyn specializing in pulp fiction (especially science fiction, hence its sf-ish name, Singularity & Co.). We knew immediately we had a new favorite haunt in the making. Happily, when we reached out to them, they were as enthusiastic about us as we were about them, and Plans Were Made.

Want to know something? The place exceeded our every expectation. Not only do they have cool stuff (a whole shelf of Choose Your Own Adventures! a section labeled “Smut”! an orrery!), it’s all laid out perfectly, it’s as warm and welcoming as your best friend’s bedroom, and the owner is a super-cool chick. If you have any taste for great bookstores, go. It’s magnificent.


What did we do other than hang out and get lightly toasted? A gift exchange of books (everyone got to leave with something she hadn’t had when she arrived)…


…followed by a smoke break in the brisk but lovely outdoors…


…and then some fun with temporary tattoos, courtesy of


(Don’t have water handy to apply the tattoos? That’s all right. There are other ways to moisten something.)


All in all, a lovely and memorable evening. Who says bookstores are dying? Barnes & Noble, here we come…


IMG_2809For good friends, and good food, and good times.

For good books.

For good weather, that allowed us to meet 24 times this year (so far!).

For living in a city where our bodies are not objects of ridicule or fear or shame in the eyes of the law.

For the thousands of people who’ve seen us lying ¬†bare-chested in the park and gone on with their days, untroubled.

For the people who’ve come to this blog 7,561,724 times, from places as far away as the Republic of Kiribati and Tonga and Samoa and, yes, one time, we are not making this up, Vatican City.

For all your emails and Facebook messages and tweets in support of what we’re doing.

For the 83-year-old woman who sat with us for an hour, and for her poodle, and for the delight they both clearly felt.

For you, whoever you are out there, for being part of our adventure.

Happy Holidays, friends.


IMG_3365It feels like only yesterday it was Halloween.¬†(Well, the day before.) Now¬†here we are and it’s November and what do you know? The sun came out. And it was warm and beautiful, the sort of fall day you almost fear will pop and vanish like a soap bubble if you look at it too closely.

So we didn’t look. We just headed out for the park and its carpet of fallen leaves, got as naked as we could, and soaked up all the Vitamin D old Sol was willing to pump into us. Manga was read, as was an advance copy of¬†BORDERLINE¬†by Lawrence Block. Kitchen tools were discussed, as were breeds of apples. One of us was sporting a new tattoo. One was a first-timer and camera-shy. We saw mounted police on horses. No one bothered us. It was lovely.

How sweet, the last sip from the once-full cup.


IMG_3283The temperature climbed into the upper 60s today, so we decided to brave the autumn weather (overcast and, briefly, raining) for a little walking tour of the Lincoln Center area. We started at the tables by the big reflecting pool and enjoyed a chat with the Village Voice‘s Anna Merlan, then headed over to the iconic fountain, where an uncomfortable-looking security guard told us the plaza is private property and neither women nor men are permitted to go shirtless there. Is that true? Who knows? ¬†It may be private property, but we suspect a shirtless man or two has been allowed to pass through unmolested at the height of summer. But it was too nice a Halloween afternoon to spend time arguing. ¬†Instead, we headed across Broadway to the little farmer’s market there, where we sipped hot apple cider and chatted with passers-by, who seemed more startled by our bare breasts than by the suppurating zombie wounds one of us was sporting or the wolf costume on another. ¬†Of course, most people paid no attention to us at all. ¬†We love you, New York! We love you, Halloween!


IMG_0582What’s worse? Being in the dead of winter, when summer is no more than a distant memory, or a time like now, when the thermometer creeps toward the 60s but no further, teasing us and then retreating? Either way: we miss the summer.

To warm ourselves and you, we thought we’d share with you some bits of film and footage we never posted before, from the day we spent down by the Statue of Liberty back in July.

And remember, last year we managed to meet once in December. There’s hope.



IMG_3171Who says the fall is too cold for strolling shirtless? Not when the mercury flirts with 80 degrees in New York City, not when there’s an open-air food festival to explore near Madison Square Park…


…and not when we have new books to read, hot off the presses from our friends at Hard Case Crime. (By Michael Crichton, no less!)


We enjoyed violin music courtesy of a stylish, vest-clad busker and an impromptu aria or two from what seemed to be an opera-trained flash mob, complete with accordion and baton-wielding conductor. We had interested visits from a photography student from Ecuador and a woman who said she hates wearing bras but hasn’t quite gotten herself over the hump of going topless; both promised to join us at a future event. (If you’re reading this, please contact us! We’d love to have you.) And we enjoyed miniature doughnuts, beef meatballs with brown gravy and pork meatballs with cranberry horseradish sauce, pomegranate lemonade, vegetarian spring rolls and vegetarian buns of some sort, deliriously yummy pretzels from Sigmund’s, and chocolate-chip brioche rolls that one of our eloquent members described as being like eating a cloud.


And when it finally did get chilly we got dressed again.

IMG_3141Oh, and we saw cute dogs. Some so cute we couldn’t resist the temptation to walk over to them.IMG_3096IMG_3104

There’s nothing quite like a walk in the park on a beautiful autumn day.

And then it was time to go. ūüė¶

But this may not be our last adventure of the year. As long as there are days like this, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when you might see us out and about…


IMG_2778aWhen morn in late September sunlit dawns, 
Presentiments of autumn nowhere seen,
Nor wintry breezes, nor the touch of rain 
That lately has defiled so many days,

And in its stead the warm caress of air 
As temperate and all-embracing as 
At summer’s peak, but with a plangent strain
For well we know its like won’t come again

For many months, we take ourselves outdoors 
And share with friends of vintage old and new 
A draft of vineyard’s fine fermented crop
And orchard’s too, together with a feast

Unmatched in time’s remembrance; yea, we glut
Ourselves on flavors fair and, fairer still, 
The gentle hand of Helios on our all-
Unburdened bodies; thus we meet the end

Of summer’s season with defiant mien.
You say tomorrow beckons, cold and drear,
And well you might; but for today we play
In summer’s final bounty of delight.


IMG_2543The latter days are upon us. It feels like fall. Suddenly afternoons in the park are brisk rather than sweltering, and walking off the street and into the sauna in a spa doesn’t feel redundant.

On a recent afternoon that was not only brisk but rainy, a small band of us visited a lovely spot in midtown called Athena Spa, where they’re cool about nudity, even the co-ed variety. The environment isn’t so photo-friendly (ever try carrying a fancy digital camera into a steam room?), but we snapped a few pics of ourselves in maximum relaxation mode.

Well, maybe not absolute maximum‚ÄĒbut for the moments that were even more relaxing than these we turned the camera off.


IMG_2593One of our old friends returned to New York recently after spending time in Egypt and Turkey and Israel and India. As it happens, she can pass for a native of any or all of the above‚ÄĒin Egypt, Egyptians think at a glance that she’s Egyptian, in Turkey a Turk, and so forth. And so, while travelers from, say, Japan, or lighter-skinned, blonder-haired travelers from the U.S., got a pass, what our friend got was a great deal of unsolicited advice about what she shouldn’t do outdoors. Such as exist, outside the company of a man.

In Egypt in particular it wasn’t advice, it was exhortation: a woman in the street without a man by her side‚ÄĒeither father, brother or husband‚ÄĒis any man’s, to do with as he will. And if she makes the mistake of dressing provocatively to boot, she is taking her life in her hands. ¬†(How many rapes per day are there in Cairo? Do you just want the official, reported figure…? How shall we count gang rapes?)

Of course, there is more going on in Cairo right now than attacks on women. But when the revolution passes (and it will, they always do), the plight of women will remain. On the “women’s car” on a train‚ÄĒand, my god, I could just stop there, couldn’t I? that there even is such a thing, in 2013‚ÄĒon the “women’s car” on a train, women covered from head to toe stole curious, eager, wondering glances at the western women, the ones who dared to wear short sleeves, and pants. But only glances, only peeks, and then they returned to their covered-up existence.

Why do we go topless in the park at the end of summer in the middle of New York City, where it is legal and any woman may do so if she wishes?

That’s why.

That’s fucking why.